A reader notes that in Justice Stephen Breyer’s dissent in the McCutcheon case today, he takes issue with the plurality’s opinion that lifting aggregate caps on political donations won’t cause quid pro quo corruption, citing the court’s earlier ruling in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission. Somebody spreads millions around to political action committees that benefit your party, you’ll remember it. In his appendix to the dissent, he offers up testimony given by senators in the McConnell case, including that of Sen. Dale Bumpers:
Senator Dale Bumpers: “[Senator Bumpers] had ‘heard
that some Members even keep lists of big donors in their
offices,’ and [stated] that ‘you cannot be a good Democratic
or good Republican Member and not be aware of who gave
money to the party.’” 251 F. Supp. 2d, at 487 (quoting
Bumpers Decl. ¶¶18, 20).
Breyer writes the court’s opinion today
“… understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institutions. It creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign. Taken together with Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”
Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy and Alito: Sending us back to the gilded age.